In this age of our shrinking world with tremendous travel and work opportunities, we often find ourselves living remote from our families and loved ones.
My family is a typical example of that. My sister and brother and their children and grandchildren all live in Denmark, my oldest daughter and I live in Sydney Australia and my youngest daughter in San Francisco US.
This year we have all managed to spend Christmas together in Denmark for the first time in over 20 years, and the experience has resulted in a lot of feelings and self-realisations for us all.
It is totally evident that my girls are both enjoying the whole big family experience and feel connected to their Danish family in spite of growing up on opposite sides of the world with only minimal Facebook contact. But the connection is definitely there. The same sense of humour and many common interests. Can’t help thinking there is more to our genetic makeup than we realise. I have certainly brought them up in an Australian manner but also with many Danish traditions, which I guess may have shaped them, but not to the extent where there would be such a connection between them and their Danish family. I have loved being a witness to this, to hear their giggles and passionate conversations.
The weather has been gloomy, wet and grey most of the time. Typical Danish weather and what I often longed to escape many times when I was still living here as a child and teenager. I don’t know if I could ever live in these conditions again with such darkness and gloom for months on end.
At the same time I love being here with my family. To be able to just pop over for a coffee and a chat is such a treat and something I miss terribly when in Sydney. My siblings and I all have a strong bond and I love them both dearly. The thought of living close to them both is extremely tempting at times in spite of me absolutely loving my life in Sydney. I have a tremendous group of friends and a great job, I love the weather and the lifestyle. I just don’t like the distance from the rest of the world.
This is now a lot more in front of mind with my youngest daughter living away in SF and my oldest also starting to speak about moving abroad. I question where I will end up, where I will want to end up. At this stage I really have no idea, but the fact that I am questioning it is new to me. For all my time in Australia I have been certain that was my country of choice. Maybe it was only my country of choice, because it was where my little family lived, my girls and I. I honestly do not know at this stage.
With internet and cheap airfares it’s certainly so much easier to stay in touch, but I wonder how it will affect us going forward. Connecting digitally is better than not at all, but it cannot beat being together physically. I have certainly seen that this Christmas.
It has also made me wonder how many families do live apart. I know I am not unique in this. How do you deal with it? I would love your comments and thoughts.